City of stars! Meet the winners of the York Tourism Awards 2017

All-stars – the winners of the 2017 awards. Photographs: Visit York
23 Jun 2017 @ 11.47 am
| Business

From a terrifyingly fun night out to a German Christmas experience – the winners of York’s tourism Oscars showcase the diversity and quality of our city’s leisure industry.

More than 500 people packed into the National Railway Museum on Thursday night (June 22) for the annual tourism awards, hosted by Minster FM breakfast show hosts Ben Fry and Ellie Brennan.

Other honours went to the finest food and drink outlets, shops and accommodation.

And in a new category this year, the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism went to Chinese York resident Will Zhuang for his commitment and services to promoting York in China.

Hotly contested

Now in their 20th year, the Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate individuals and companies who offer that extra special service and experience for York’s 6.9 million visitors.

In two of the most hotly contested categories, Tower Guest House scooped B&B of the Year, and best hotel went to The Principal York.

Restaurant of the Year title went to The Whippet Inn Steak and Alehouse while El Piano won in the title best café for the third year in a row.

In the attraction categories York Art Gallery (over 50,000 visits) and the National Centre for Birds of Prey (under 50,000 visits), at Helmsley, both came out on top.

Käthe Wohlfahrt, the traditional German Christmas shop, which opened in the former Mulberry Hall building in August 2016, were delighted to collect the award for best retail experience, less than a full year trading in the city.

The full list of winners is below.

The awards recognise the very best in our industry and I’m delighted to say the quality of entrants this year has been exceptional.

– Head of Visit York Sally Greenaway

Will power

Will Zhuang gets his award from Sally Greenaway of Visit York

Recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award Will Zhuang is originally from Shanghai.

He ran Carousel Guest House in York for 11 years with his wife Jean and today is executive head teacher at the York Chinese School.

Over the last few years Will has supported Visit York on a voluntary basis helping to build the city’s profile in China.

He has run Visit York’s social media channels in Chinese on Weibo and Wechat and boosted the profile of the city by bringing top Chinese TV Presenter Xiaodong on a trip to see the city, along with 100 of his Chinese fans.

Visit York marketing manager: “Since our first meeting with Will he has gone above and beyond to help us nurture our relationships in China.”

Full list of the winners

B&B of the Year

Winner: Tower Guest House
2 Feversham Crescent, York

Photograph: Tower Guest House

Highly Commended: The Bar Convent Guest House

Carr House Farm Bed and Breakfast
Lil’s on the Waterfront
Sponsored by Little Hotelier

Café or Tearoom of the Year

Winner: El Piano
Grape Lane, York

Photograph: El Piano

Countess of York at the National Railway Museum
The Balloon Tree Farmshop & Café
The Garden Room at The Principal York
Sponsored by Booker York

Conference Venue of the Year

Winner: The Principal York
Station Road, York

One of the hotel’s meeting rooms. Photograph: Principal York

Highly Commended: The National Centre for Early Music (NCEM)

The Bar Convent (Conferencing)
York Science Park
Sponsored by Colour Options

Family Friendly Experience of the Year

Winner: Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
York Designer Outlet

Photograph: Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland on Facebook

The Bloody Tour of York
York Art Gallery
York Maze
Sponsored by P&O Ferries

Hotel of the Year

Winner: The Principal York
Station Road, York

Photograph: Principal York

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa
Hotel du Vin York
Hotel Indigo York
The Black Swan Hotel
Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Newcomer of the Year

Winner: Can You Escape? York
Micklegate, York

Photograph: Can You Escape? / Facebook

Brew York Craft Brewery & Tap Room
Joe’s Kitchen
Staycity Paragon Street York
The Botanist York
Sponsored by Hungate York Regeneration

Outstanding Customer Service

Winner: Alison Storey (York Racecourse)

Photograph: York Racecourse

Anna Bialockleb (The Whippet Inn)
Damian Palmer-Bunting (Robin Hood Caravan)
Edward Kelly (Stay City)
Frank Caulfield (Dean Court Hotel)
Sponsored by Manchester Airport

Pub of the Year

Winner: Pairings Wine Bar
Castlegate, York

Inside Pairings wine bar. Photograph: Richard McDougall

The Blue Bell
The Chapter House at The Principal York
The Drovers Arms
Thomas’s of York Pub & Kitchen
Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

Restaurant of the Year

Winner: The Whippet Inn Steak & Alehouse
North Street, York

Photograph: The Whippet Inn / Facebook

Ambiente Tapas
Melton’s Restaurant
The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub
The Raj
The Weathervane Restaurant
Sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Self-catering Venue of the Year

Winner: The Old Brewery
Ogleforth, York

Photograph: The Old Brewery

Highly Commended: Robin Hood Caravan & Camping Park

Forest Holidays
York Stay Holidays
Sponsored by Yorkshire Laundry

Shopping Experience of the Year

Winner: Käthe Wohlfahrt
Stonegate, York

Photograph: Giles Rocholl / Kathe Wohlfahrt

Bishy Road
Pandora’s Box
Sponsored by York BID

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Over 50,000 Visitors)

Winner: York Art Gallery
Exhibition Square, York

Photograph: Giles Rocholl / York Museums Trust

Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum
Energi Trampoline Park York
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The York Dungeon
Sponsored by F R Fowler & Son

Visitor Attraction of the Year (Under 50,000 Visitors)

Winner: National Centre for Birds of Prey
Duncombe Park, Helmsley

Photograph: National Centre for Birds of Prey / Facebook

Go Ape Dalby
The Bloody Tour of York
York Army Museum
Sponsored by First Group

Visitor Experience of the Year

Winner: Hallowscream at York Maze
Elvington Lane, York

Photograph: Hallowscream

BOBH – Day Trips from York
Eboracum Roman Festival

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
Sponsored by Virgin Trains East Coast

Visit York Outstanding Contribution Award 2017

Awarded to: Will Zhuang

Will Zhuang at the National Railway Museum

Sponsored by The Great Yorkshire Fringe